The title of the 1993-set kiwi bromance “Two Little Boys” is a good indication of its level of humor, which is so juvenile and obvious the only period-appropriate thing missing is a laugh track. Scribe-helmer Robert Sarkies (“Scarfies”) directed these misadventures of a duo only slightly older and more anthropomorphized than Beavis and Butt-head, adapting a novel by his co-scribe brother, Duncan. Presence of Bret McKenzie (“Flight of the Concords,” the recent Oscar-winning “Muppets” song) should help get it noticed, but the longevity of “Boys” will be assured by auds into silly drinking-game fodder.After mullet-maned Nige (McKenzie) accidentally kills a Norwegian backpacker (Filip Berg), he turns to former best friend, Deano (Hamish Blake) for help. Deano hopes their intense bond might be revived if he assists getting rid of the body, but the profundity of their avant-la-lettre bromance is telegraphed too conspicuously to sustain momentum (Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” on the soundtrack is overkill). McKenzie, Blake and Maaka Pohatu, as a rotund Maori rival for Nige’s man-love, are broad but sympathetic, and the pic’s period look impresses. New Zealand landscapes are tourist-friendly, even if the onscreen antics are not.
A Tent Pole Films production. (International sales: NZ Films, Wellington, New Zealand.) Produced by Vicky Pope, Tim White. Executive producer, Murray Francis. Directed by Robert Sarkies. Screenplay, Duncan Sarkies, Robert Sarkies, based on the novel by Duncan Sarkies.
Camera (color, widescreen), Jac Fitzgerald; editor, Annie Collins; music, David Long; production designer, Jules Cook; costume designer, Amanda Neale. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Generation 14 Plus), Feb. 16, 2012. Running time: 104 MIN.
Bret McKenzie, Hamish Blake, Maaka Pohatu, Filip Berg, Erin Banks, Charlie Britzman, Jarin Towney, Russell Smith, Ian Mune, Lee Hatherly. (English, Norwegian dialogue)